For the first time since 2011, Congress took up and passed spending for community projects, previously known as earmarks, and now known as Congressionally Directed Spending or Community Project Funding Requests. These projects were a part of the $1.5 trillion FY ’22 omnibus spending bill which funds the federal government through the end of September.
What is a Congressionally Directed Spending Request or Community Project Funding Request?
Essentially, nonprofits, tribal entities, and state and local governments request funding via a short form through their Member of Congress. If the Member of Congress supports the project, they will try to include it in one of the 12 annual federal spending bills. If the project gets included and the bill passes, then the assigned federal agency provides the designated funding to the group in the form of a grant.
How Much Funding is Available? And Where is It Going?
According to an account by the Wall Street Journal, in 2022, Congressionally Directed Spending projects accounted for roughly $9.7 billion spent across some 5,000 projects of varying size and nature. This amounts to roughly $1.9 million per project, with awards ranging in size from a few hundred thousand dollars to a few million dollars. In FY 2023, the Senate and the House will likely have approximately $14 billion to spend on earmarks. Recipients are limited to non-profits, tribal entities, and state and municipal governments. The purpose of these projects ranges from roads and bridges to environmental restoration and education programs and facilities (and more).
Amongst the numerous education projects funded, were the construction of child development centers, workforce apprenticeship programs, cultural and community youth centers, and literacy programs.
What’s next? How Can You Apply?
Offices are beginning to release their individual forms for requests and groups are actively meeting with member offices to discuss their projects. If you have a project that you’re interested to discuss, but don’t know where to start, how to identify the federal program to request funding through, and how to present your project to the Member of Congress, we can help. Our Washington, D.C. team of federal relations experts has extensive knowledge of the congressionally directed spending process and a network of contacts to help introduce and advocate for your project. Please reach out to our Washington, D.C. office by contacting Tylynn Gordon at firstname.lastname@example.org or Andy Winer at email@example.com.